Wondering how much heating oil you’re using for hot water? It might be more than you think. Everything from laundry to dish washing to hot showers uses heating oil. And if you love 20-minute showers, all that hot water can really add up. While the percentage of your heating oil that’s used for hot water isn’t something you’re likely to be quizzed on, it can help you better understand your year-round heating oil consumption.
Oh – and if you’re thinking you should stop taking hot showers in the winter because the heating oil probably costs more…well, you might be surprised at what you find out.
Oil and Water: They work together here!
So how is a heating oil system paired with hot water? Great question.
For most oil based hot water systems, there is an indirect hot water system that stores hot water in a storage tank. Once the main boiler or furnace kicks on, the water is heated and stored in the tank so it’s ready for you when you need it. Need a visual? See below.
(p.s. If this doesn’t look like your set up, you may have a direct fired propane or electric hot water system, which doesn’t use heating oil)
Heating oil usage for hot water: Winter is your (surprising) friend
So, assuming you have a heating oil/hot water tank system, and you have an average sized home that you share with 3 average hot-water-using people - how much oil can you expect to go through in an average summer or winter?
Summer: The heating oil used for hot water will typically be about 25 gallons a month in the non-heating season months. If you’re bad at math, that’s a little less than a gallon a day to heat your water. Again – this is assuming you don’t take 40-minute showers every morning.
Winter: Now, you might expect that that number would go up in winter. But the opposite is actually true. Since you’re often running your furnace anyway in the winter to stay warm, it essentially heats up your water at the same time for free! Pretty sweet, huh? So you won’t need a substantial amount of additional heating oil when your furnace is already going full-steam! (Of course you’ll use more oil overall in the colder months to heat your home, but we had to lead with the positive!)
Now that you have a general understanding of how much heating oil you might use for hot water, let’s talk about how your specific actions impact that amount.
Variables involved in actual heating oil usage for hot water
We already did a deep dive into how much heating oil you’ll use in a day, and this is a great place to start in understanding all the usage factors that come into play. [Link to that article]
Heating oil usage for hot water is similarly impacted and the amounts will vary greatly depending on things like:
How many people live in the house? (If you have a kiddo heading home from college in the summer, you’ll likely see your usage go up)
How often do you use the water for showers, tubs, laundry, and washing dishes? (More hot water means more heating oil).
How efficient is your heating oil system? This is obviously a big factor since you’ll use less oil if everything is in tip-top shape! (If you want to take a quick peek at the health of your tank as a starting point, check out our safety checklist here). You’ll also want to make sure your actual system is working right (i.e. your furnace) and the best way to do that is by scheduling regular annual tune-ups.
[Link to “What are the all the parts of a heating oil tank”]
I’m ready to heat up my water AND my home! Where do I order up some oil?
At Heatable, we’re all about bringing you heating oil in the smartest, fastest, least expensive, and easiest way possible. To get started, simply enter your zip code on our website or app and see if you live in one of our ever-expanding Maine & New Hampshire delivery areas. If you do, we’ll show you the current price of oil – and let you know exactly when we can deliver it (hint: very quickly, we’re kinda known for that). You’ll need to enter a few pieces of information for your first delivery, and then from there on out you can order heating oil anywhere, anytime, and all online with just two taps and a swipe on your smartphone. Just Tap, Tap, Swipe and we bring the heat!
Learn more about Heating Oil
Visit our Ultimate Consumer’s Guide to Heating Oil for everything you need to know about heating your home with #2 heating oil. LINK
Heatable’s the smart way to order oil! Our website and quick order app put you in control of your heating oil purchases. You can order anywhere and at any time. Just enter your zip to see your super-low price and get started.
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